Vanessa Hudgens, Brandon Victor Dixon, Keala Settle and More Will Be Living La Vie Boheme in Rent: Live


To quote a certain member of the Alphabet City avant garde, “Times are shitty but I’m pretty sure they can’t get worse.” But there’s no need to open up a restaurant in Sante Fe to improve your vie boheme (I’ll stop, I promise), because the cast of Fox’s Rent: Live has been announced and it’s packed empty loft wall to empty loft wall with legends. In the words of the inimitable Joanne: We’re okaaaay.

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Grease: Live alum Vanessa Hudgens, Jesus Christ Superstar Emmy-nominee Brandon Victor Dixon, and DWTS alum Jordan Fisher were among the cast members announced online this afternoon and, to quote my boy Mark, for once the shadows gave way to light! For once I didn’t disengage! The broadcast of the landmark musical will air on network television on January 27, 2019, and no I do not have any information about how they will be staging the song “Contact” but however they do it, I’m going to tweet about it!

Let’s take a look at who won’t be paying last year’s rent, this year’s rent, or next year’s rent:

Brandon Victor Dixon as Tom Collins

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Wow, to quote my girl, Maureen, my canteen has sprung a leak and I am… thirsty. Dixon, an Emmy- and Tony-nominee who single-handedly brought back deep-v tank tops in Jesus Christ Superstar, will be starring as the heart and soul of Rent, NYU professor Tom Collins. As you may recall, Collins somehow manages to rob an ATM using technology without being indicted by the FBI. He also gets the song “I’ll Cover You (Reprise)” which I can’t even type without crying. Following Dixon’s runs in JCS and Hamilton, it’s clear that he’s trying to collect all the great male solos like Infinity Stones. I need to lie down.

Vanessa Hudgens as Maureen Johnson

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I’m over the moon about this. Hudgens’ Stockard Channing as Rizzo was a highlight in Grease: Live. Maureen is the kind of performance artist who, nowadays, would be inviting you to a happening once a week on Facebook. Are they any good? Unclear. What is clear, how great it’ll be to have Vanessa Hudgens screaming “Moo with me” through your TV screen. The GIFs, my GOD, imagine the GIFs.

Tinashe as Mimi Marquez

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A singer and dancer who has toured with Nicki Minaj and Maroon 5, Tinashe definitely has the pipes and moves to prowl and howwwwooool at in the city of neon and chrome and, of course, the Cat Scratch Club, New York’s hottest establishment.

Jordan Fisher as Mark Cohen

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Mark, a Jewish aspiring filmmaker, has traditionally been played by white-presenting actors, so it’s particularly exciting that Fox has chosen Fisher, who is of mixed racial heritage, for this version. Fisher won the last season of Dancing With the Stars and has appeared in Hamilton.

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Brennin Hunt at Roger Davis

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First all, I did not know Roger had a last name! Education! Second of all, I don’t know much about singer/songwriter Brennin Hunt, but he guest-starred on Nashville so he has Connie Britton’s blessing and that’s good enough for me! As the rock-oriented co-star of the live musical, he’ll have more than One Song (to bring) Glory.

Kiersey Clemmons as Joanne Jefferson

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The scene-stealer from Transparent, Dope, and Hearts Beat Loud will be doing the Tango: Maureen backwards in heels as lawyer Joanne who always seemed a little to put together for all the shenanigans in Rent. Like, she wears powersuits and has a phone with multiple lines; what is she doing in this unheated warehouse?

Valentina as Angel Dumont Schunard



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The RuPaul’s Drag Race alum will be trading her iconic face mask for a pair of drumsticks and (canonically) an upside-down bucket as drag queen and Phil Collin’s protegé Angel. As you’ll recall, when Collins first introduces Angel to his friends, Angel performs a three-minute rap! For no reason! We stan a focus-stealing icon!

Mario as Benjamin Coffin III

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First of all, good for Mario! Second of all, as I have said time and time again, Benny is not the bad guy in rent! He is a property owner whose friends won’t adhere to deals and who foolishly decides to have business meetings at the Life Café in the middle of the night! He has bad judgement but there’s blame to go around. His dog was killed, for goodness sake. We need a national conversation on Benny slander.

Keala Settle as the Soloist in “Seasons of Love” who blows the roof off

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Getty ImagesChristopher Polk

Neither my TV speakers nor my edges are ready for the “This Is Me” powerhouse to stroll in roughly 89 minutes into the broadcast and ravage all of our emotions.

This last bit of casting is not official but we’re just going to secret it into being.

Natalie Walker as Alexi Darling

If you haven’t seen her audition for literally everything, you haven’t lived:

Additional casting will be announced at a later time, but these headliners bode well for musical. Today 4 All of Us!


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